Everybody Can Garden with Containers (2)


It may seem obvious to say, but you must select healthy plants for your containers. Quality plants are those well-rounded specimens with strong roots, lush foliage and many swelling flower buds.


Hours before planting, plunge these plants in a bucket of water and thoroughly soak them. Watering like this will prevent shock upon replanting and will also help merge the plants existing compost to its new container compost. Position the plants on top of the container to get an impression of what the final planting could look like, it is better to alter positions at this stage rather than at the mucky post planting stage.

Centre and surrounding planting

Aim to plant from the centre of the container outwards. Create a central or offset central hole big enough for the rootball of the central plant. Examples of good central plants would be a Cordyline or Phormium. Remove the pot (believe me, some people forget this) and place the plant into the hole firming the compost around it. Then, settle the rest of the plants in similar planting style around the edges. All the plants should end up at the same depth as they were in their original containers.


As I mentioned last week, ensure the containers compost stops at least 1 inch below the lip of the container; this is to allow a watering space. Level the surface of the compost with your hand and water thoroughly until water starts to flow from the containers base. Leave the container to sit for about an hour, if after that hour any of the compost has settled then you may top it up. Wooden and unglazed terracotta containers usually require much more water due to their porous and absorbent nature. I suggest you apply a mulch of mini-chip bark or gravel to the composts surface, as well as being decorative this will lessen the containers loss of water through evaporation.

View further information on this topic in the Irish gardeners forum >>>>

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